Endocytosis pp 405-412 | Cite as

Endocytic Uptake of Ricin and Shiga Toxin

  • K. Sandvig
  • K. Prydz
  • B. van Deurs
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 62)


Protein toxins which efficiently kill eukaryotic cells are found in plants and produced by bacteria. Examples of such toxins are the plant toxins ricin, abrin, modeccin, viscumin and volkensin, and the bacterial toxins diphtheria toxin and Shiga toxin (for review, see Olsnes and Sandvig 1988). Schematic structures of toxins are shown in Fig. 1. All these toxins kill cells in the following manner: They bind to cell surface receptors by their B-chains, they are internalized by endocytosis, and then an enzymatically active part of the molecule, the A-chain, enters the cytosol where it inhibits protein synthesis, either by inactivation of the 60 S subunit of the ribosome or by inactivation of elongation factor 2. In spite of their structural similarities, these protein toxins enter the cytosol from different intracellular compartments, and they have different requirements for entry.


Golgi Apparatus Shiga Toxin Basolateral Side Protein Toxin Shigella Dysenteriae 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Sandvig
    • 1
  • K. Prydz
    • 1
  • B. van Deurs
    • 2
  1. 1.The Norwegian Radium HospitalInstitute for Cancer ResearchOslo 3Norway
  2. 2.Structural Cell Biology Unit, Department of Anatomy, The Panum InstituteUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen NDenmark

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